Come to think of it, Carousel‘s theme clashes with the game mechanics. The postman theme doesn’t really work when you’re taking things from the board and keeping them for yourself.
To fix this, I added recipients to the envelope cards. Instead of picking them up, now you had to deliver them at the right location to get those precious points. This worked very well. It brought a new set of objectives to the players, and the chance to interfere with the other players.
I was having a lot of fun, so I tackled on another issue that had become apparent during playtests. First-time players were intimidated by the amount of possible actions during a turn. To avoid that Analysis Paralysis, I decided to cut two actions from the cards.
I still haven’t found a reliable system to distribute the actions throughout the cards the way I want, so I was forced to do it manually. That’s a pretty radical change, because it requires brand new files for all the game.
Is that bad?
On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity to improve the theme! I often think about the mechanics first, and would like to try developing both at once. So…
I bring you “Pizza-go-round”!
Instead of a van you’re driving a pizza delivery bike. Orders replace the envelopes, and have varying ingredients and rewards. Action cards have six actions instead of eight, along with an ingredient. You can play actions to move between buildings and ingredients to complete your orders. The game ends as the “out of gas” card pops up from the orders deck.
The playtesters had a lot of fun! Although this is a branch, my favorite bits from Carousel are still here, along with a clearer set of goals and a more appealing theme.